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Assessing and promoting civil and minority rights in South Africa.

[Source: Daily Maverick by William Bird.]

The latest Minister of Communications has decided to appeal a ground-breaking judgment that gave the SABC Board independence. Here we go again. Shooting ourselves in the foot just as we thought we might have a chance to stand up and walk. The sad thing is I don’t think that too many people will notice; after all, the SABC in crisis is as normal in South Africa as Kota and SAA bailouts.

Such is the depth of our national crisis trauma that we struggle to grasp the daily scandals and crises. It seems one of the only ways to get some reaction is to release a book packed so full of sickening corruption even the State Security Agency has to make some legal grunts about it. Of course, the SSA goes for the journalist and ignores the litany of issues highlighted in the book.

Meanwhile the horror and crises that impact the poor, the vulnerable and the marginalised might make front page headlines but they seem to disappear all too quickly. A few months ago The Times reported on how a 14-year-old boy was shot in the face with a rubber bullet at just about point-blank range by the police. Surely that would result in some strong action? Seemingly not. When we were a slightly less chaotic democracy the idea that a mayor would be caught sending a political party whatsapp pictures of a 14-year-old girl in states of undress, and that a senior party official and cabinet minister would say that this was a party matter, should have resulted in a national crisis. After all, we have a man of significant local power and authority violating a young girl, and a senior party official saying it is a “party matter”, and not only is the man not arrested, he is put on special leave – so an abuser gets to spend time at home on full pay while on special leave. Meanwhile his victim had to go to court to get an order preventing this mayor from intimidating her and her family. And then we say we care about child abuse and combating violence? Sure, a lovely middle finger to all those in government and civil society who work tirelessly to combat child abuse.

Continue reading here.

South Africa at a Glance
56 500 000 (mid 2017 estimate)
5.1% y/y in September 2017 (CPI) & +4.2% y/y in August 2017 (PPI)
2.5% q/q for the 2nd quarter of 2017
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